It's time for my "Gosh, I think I need to post this!" message that I post to this board and a couple of others. It's long and I apologize for that but thank you to anyone who reads through it.
Any and all suggestions appreciated as I've researched this line for almost 17 years now and am a bit weary. ;-)
I descend from Johnson W Dunn and Ann Cherry Dunn through their son, Francis M Dunn. However, I’ve suspected for years that I also descend from them through Pernecia Ann Mackey who married James Rufus Dunn, son of Francis M Dunn. Pernecia’s mother was a Dunn and she’s held me captive for a long time.
Her name seems to be something of a mystery, sometimes being shown as Mildred, sometimes Adelissa or Adalisa or Adelisa, Adeline and other variations. I found one other person who seemed to be researching that line, a LaRue Jones of Hixson Tennessee. But the messages LaRue had posted on various forums were old and I was unable to find a valid email address, physical address, or phone number for LaRue. I made phone calls to a few people with the Jones name around Hixson but got no positive results with that. (Note, I recently found LaRue and she told me Adelissa is buried in Kilgore Cemetery but other than that she has no helpful information) I’d occasionally post messages in forums but didn’t get much response that way. So, I’ve just plodded along over the years, pretty much on my own with this until one of my sisters got involved in 2009. We made a wonderful trip to Caldwell County, KY and we learned a lot but not who Adelissa’s parents were. We returned to that area in 2012 for more research and although we learned quite a bit more, none of it has helped us answer our question.
There is evidence that Adelissa had a very close relationship to Johnson Dunn and Ann Cherry but the information I’ve gleaned from others working on various Dunn lines points to Johnson and Ann having eight children, three daughters and five sons, all of whom seem to be researched or are, at the very least, in the process of being researched. So we looked at Johnson’s brothers, thinking perhaps she was a niece, but couldn’t find evidence there, either.
Adelissa’s parentage has really driven me wild but I finally have a working theory and I want to share it with as many people as I can in the hopes that someone will have suggestions or be researching the same or a collateral line.
Please understand that a lot of the information I have is from census and marriage records, a little is from miscellaneous descendants and all of those are occasionally incorrect.
First, let’s assume that the research/information on the web showing 8 children for Johnson W Dunn and Ann Cherry Dunn is correct. If so, the children are these:
Lucinda, born January 27, 1820 (per Gilkey family bible and other records)
Lucretia Matilda, born 1822
Dudley, born about 1826
James Lowden, born 1828 to 1831
Francis M, my line, born 1831 to 1835
Abi Eliza, born about 1835 (I think some show her name as Abi Elizabeth or something similar)
Johnson Wilbur/Wilburn, born 1838
Newton Jasper, born about 1839
There are five boys and three girls. Some of the years of birth are very vague but we can get really close by looking at marriage and census records so let’s take them one at a time and see what turns up.
Lucinda is the only one for which I have a firm date of birth so I’ll run with her being the oldest child, born in 1820. In 1830 she should be around 10 years old. Johnson’s household has 2 girls in the 5 to 10 age group and Lucinda must be one of them. She married Isaac Gilkey in 1839 (again per the family bible but also per Caldwell County records) and in 1840, depending on when the census was taken, she’d be somewhere around the age of 20 and married. The 1840 Johnson Dunn household shows 1 female in the 15 to 20 group rather than 2 so I think the girl in that group is Lucinda’s sister, Lucretia, who was a couple of years younger than Lucinda. Isaac Gilkey is on the 1840 census in his own household and at Ancestry.com the surname was transcribed as Gilby. He’s in the 30 and under 40 column and there’s a female in the 10 and under 20 column and a female in the under 5 column. The females must be Lucinda Dunn Gilkey and daughter America. Thanks to Ken Gilkey for helping me sort out that matter. For the record, the Gilkey bible gives the birthdate of America Gilkey as May 12, 1840 so we can figure this part of the 1840 census was enumerated after that date in 1840.
Lucretia Matilda married John Gray in 1841. She was born about 1822 and is most likely the second girl in the 1830 census 5 to 10 group since she would have been about 8. In 1840 there’s one girl in the household in the 15 to 20 group and since Lucinda was married and gone, that one girl would be Lucretia. The 1850 census has John P Gray, age 36, Matilda, age 28, and 7 children, one of whom is named Pernecy. I believe that’s Lucretia Matilda and family. In the 1860 census, John Gray is now 49 and Matilda is 49. Although her age is off now that doesn’t concern me much because the children are the same and there’s Pernecy, now spelled Parnesia.
Dudley, born about 1826, is one of the male children in the under 5 column in Johnson’s 1830 census. He married Virginia Freeman and they had two sons. In Johnson’s 1840 household he’s the one boy in the 10 and under 15 category. In 1850, he’s Dudley C Dunn and is in the Needham C Gray household, age 23. So far so good.
James Lowden, born 1828 to 1831, is one of the two male children in the under 5 column in Johnson’s 1830 census. In 1840 he’s one of the two male children in the 5 and under 10 group with Francis (my line) being the other. In 1850, Johnson W Dunn is deceased and James is 21 years old (that would make him born abt 1829) and living in the John Holland household with his mother, Ann C Dunn, and brothers Francis, Newton, and Johnson and sister Eliza who is 17. I think James Lowden married Sarah Williamson.
Francis M (my line), born 1831 to 1835, isn’t on the 1830 census for Johnson’s household but he’s on the 1840 in the 5 and under 10 category. In 1850 he’s 19 and living in the John Holland household with mother Ann C, brothers, and sister Eliza. In 1860 he’s married to Susan E Dunn (there’s some thought that she was a Holland) and they have a son, James R Dunn (my line), age 1. This census would put the birth year for Francis at 1831 or so.
Abi Eliza was born about 1835 so she wouldn’t be on the 1830 census but she’s on the 1840 in the 5 to 10 group. In 1850 she’s 17 and in the John Holland household with her mother and brothers. In December of 1850 she married Milton Stephens and on the 1870 census, Ann Cherry Dunn, her mother, is living in her household.
Johnson Wilbur/Wilburn was born about 1838. In the 1840 census for Johnson Dunn’s household he’s in the under 5 group along with his brother Newton. In 1850 he’s in the John Holland household with Ann, his brothers and his sister. This Johnson married Mary E Gore and they had a daughter named Mildred (born about 1866) who married William Thomas Lefan.
Last we have Newton Jasper, born about 1839. He’s in the 1840 Johnson Dunn census in the under 5 group with brother Johnson. In 1850 he’s in the John Holland household with Ann, his brothers and his sister. In 1859 he married Susai Vick (Vied) (Sinia Sultana Vied?) and in 1860 he’s listed as Jasper Dunn, age 25, with his wife Sinai, daughter Mary, age 4 months, and an 11 year old girl named George Ann Veed.
Okay, we’ve accounted for the eight children that are acknowledged to belong to Johnson Dunn and Ann Cherry.
If Lucinda is married and not in her father’s household in 1840, there should be three females listed. One would be Ann Cherry Dunn, mother of the children and Johnson’s wife. She shows up in the 40 and under 50 group. One would be Lucretia, who would have been about about 18 at the time which puts her in the 15 to under 20 column. We have one there. The other would be Abi Eliza, who would have been about 5 years old, which puts her in the 5 to under 10 column. We have one there. So those three females are accounted for.
But wait….we also have a female in the 10 to under 15 column. Who is this female? It can’t be Lucinda (she’s married and with husband Isaac elsewhere on the census), can’t be Lucretia (18 in 1840 going by census dates and ages) or Abi Eliza who is only 5.
Either the lists of children for Johnson and Ann Dunn are short one female child or the census record is incorrect or the 1840 household of Johnson Dunn and wife, Ann Cherry Dunn, included another female child.
Now, here are the facts and some supposition about my mystery woman. According to the 1845 marriage record in Caldwell County her name was Adelissa M Dunn. Said record might say “Adeline” but it’s very hard to tell. She was born about 1824 (in Caldwell County, KY according to a few records). Job Cherry, father of Ann Cherry, wife of Johnson Dunn, gave surety for the marriage. By the way, Johnson Dunn died before 1848, my guess is late 1846 or early 1847.
Adelissa and her husband, Robert Mackey, had several children. They are:
Martha J, born 1846 and married to Felix B Satterfield at Robert Mackey’s home in 1869. Her birth record shows her as M J and her parents to be Robert Makery and Mildred Dunn. Martha’s death record shows her father as Robt Mackey and her mother as Mary Dunn.
Johnson Arabel (female) born October 1847 and married to Tinsley H Kilgore in 1864. Johnson’s death certificate has her name as Johns Kilgore and lists her father as Robt Mackey, born in Ohio, and mother as Mildred Dunn, born in Caldwell County, Kentucky.
Lizetta P, born 1852 and married to Thomas Jefferson Prince in 1869. Her birth record shows her parents to be Robert Mackey and Adaline M Dunn.
Mary Josephine, born 1855 and married to Jonathan Prince, TJs brother, in 1873.
Pernecia “Necy” Ann (my line), born 1857 and married first to Thomas Satterfield with whom she had John Satterfield, born about 1874. In 1878 she married James Rufus Dunn in Lyon County.
George P, born October 1859 and married to Lucretia Kevil. George ended up in Houston, Harris County, TX and died there in 1940. His birth record shows his parents as Robert Mackey and Alcy M. Dunn. His death certificate lists his father as Robert Albert Mackey, born in OH, and mother as Mildred Dunn, born in Caldwell County, KY.
I believe Adelissa M. Dunn Mackey died in April of 1860. There exists a death record for a Mildred Mackey, married, age 36, housewife, died of winter fever after an illness of 6 days. For the record, during this time period Caldwell and surrounding counties contained very, very few people with the surname Mackey. The 1860 Caldwell County census, enumerated just a couple of months after Mildred Mackey’s death, shows R Mackey, age 47, stone mason, born in OH, with Martha, age 14, Johnson, age 12, Lizetta, age 7, Mary, age 5, Pernecia, age 3, and George, age 8 months.
Two households away is (Newton) Jasper Dunn with his wife and children. Right next door to Robert Mackey is Mrs. A Dunn (Ann Cherry Dunn), age 60, with Lowden, age 31, and Wilburn, age 21.
In 1870, we have a household with TH Kilgore, age 27, RB (I think this is a derivative of Johnson’s middle name Arabel), age 22, ML, age 3, and Cora, age 1. So this appears to be Robert’s daughter with her husband and kids. In the same household we have what looks like R. L. Mackey, (this is Robert) age 54, P.A. age 13 (Pernecia Ann), G.P. age 11 (George P) and a laborer.
A couple of houses away is the Stephens household (Abi Eliza married Milton Stephens) with Ann Dunn, now age 70 living with them.
In 1880 we now have Johnson Kilgore, age 32 and widowed, living with her daughter Minnie, age 13, daughter Cora, age 11, daughter Maud, age 9, daughter Tininie, age 7, and Robt Mackey, also a widow, age 65 and listed as Johnson’s father. I see no other Dunns on this page but my James R Dunn is on the previous page listed as James R Dun and his wife Pernecia is there as Necy, along with their first child Birdie and his stepson John Satterfield, age 6.
It appears that Robert Mackey married Mary/Polly Kilgore in February of 1865, after the death of Adelissa, but in 1870 Caldwell County, Polly Mackey is living with SG Kilgore, age 20, ND Kilgore, age 17, and JG, age 15. Not sure about all that but I do have a copy of Mary Polly Mackey’s will. Polly and youngsters are living next door to Robert Mackey and are surrounded by Dunns.
Robert Mackey died in 1896 and is buried in Kilgore Cemetery in Caldwell County. Lizetta and her husband are there as are a few other folks.
Could the girl in the 10 and under 15 column of the Johnson Dunn census of 1840 be Adelissa Mildred Dunn? I think it’s quite possible. My ancestress must have had a very close relationship to Johnson and his wife and she simply doesn’t fit anywhere else that I can see.
A little bit of anecdotal info that encourages my thinking. It isn’t proof but I believe it does show some kind of close relationship between Robert and Adelissa and known members of the Johnson Dunn family:
Dudley C Dunn, son of Johnson W Dunn and Ann Cherry Dunn named a son Robert Mackey Dunn.
Johnson Wilbur, son of Johnson W Dunn and Ann Cherry Dunn named a daughter Mildred.
Lucinda Dunn, daughter of Johnson W Dunn and Ann Cherry Dunn named a daughter Mary Adalisa (spelling varies a little I think).
James Rufus Dunn, grandson of Johnson W Dunn and Ann Cherry Dunn through their son Francis and husband of Pernecy Mackey, Adelissa and Robert’s daughter, named a son Robert Mackey Dunn.
Faye Allen Dunn Smith, Adelissa and Robert’s granddaughter, named a son Robert Mackey Smith.
There are more people who named children Robert Mackey or Robert M or Adelissa or Mildred but these are just a few examples.
I truly believe that Adelissa M Dunn who married Robert Mackey is the daughter of Johnson W Dunn and Ann Cherry Dunn. I don’t have proof of this and don’t know if there is any in existence but if you think I’m wrong, show me. Prove that I’m on the wrong track so I can head another direction. And if you think I’m right, show me that. And if you have any thoughts or input on this, I’d love to hear from you.
Denise Price Boyd